Malcolm Turnbull

Voters believe that 2016 was a bad year for politics, and 2017 will probably pretty awful, too, according to the latest Essential Report.

There was a double dissolution election, a new cast of characters in the Senate, the return of One Nation, and the government with a one-seat majority in the House of Representatives in 2016, and according to Essential, 62% of voters believe it was a bad year for Australian politics, compared to just 9% of people thinking it was a good year, and 24% sitting on “ehh”.

essential1

Whether it is the climate, the US elections, the war in Syria or other global matters, 44% of voters also said it was a bad year for the planet, compared to just 12% who thought it was a good year. Interestingly, in almost equal amounts, people thought it was a bad year for the Australian economy (36%) and the average Australian (37%) but reported it was good for themselves and their family overall at 36%, and their workplace at 37%.

Similarly voters are more optimistic about 2017 being good for themselves and their workplaces at 39% each, but half of voters (50%) say 2017 will be another shocker for Australian politics, and 41% say it’ll be overall bad for the planet.

As the government deals with a $10 billion downgrade in the budget position, 36% of voters believe the state of the Australian economy is poor, compared to 23% who say it is good. People who have drifted away from the four biggest parties are more likely to see the economy as being poor at 59%, while Coalition voters are far more likely to see the economy as positive at 39%.

essential2-edit

The trend is the same for whether the economy is going in the right direction. Coalition voters were the highest number to say it is at 50%, compared to voters dissatisfied with the four main parties saying it is going in the wrong direction (64%), followed closely by Greens voters at 62% and Labor voters at 54%. In total, 49% of voters think the economy is going in the wrong direction, while 29% say they don’t know, and just 24% say it is going in the right direction.

A majority of voters feel about the same amount of job security over the next two years, at 51%, with Greens voters and other voters more likely to feel less secure in their jobs at 40%.

Voters have also said they believe Turnbull is more likely to understand and act on issues close to people running large corporations (57%) and people with high incomes (56%) than any other category. They don’t believe he understands issues facing the unemployed (45%) or people on low incomes (48%).

There was no change in the first preference or two-party-preferred positions for either of the two major parties, keeping their 37% first preference votes from last week, and Labor sitting on 53% over the Coalition on 47% two party preferred. Pauline Hanson may have lost Rod Culleton this week, but her party regained 1% point back up to 8% primary vote. The Greens also gained one point back up to 10%.

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW